Author Archives: Allison Deger

About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

Low turnout for Palestinian prisoner release as negotiations slump

In a scaled back ceremony early Tuesday morning 18 Palestinians returned to the West Back in the third round of prisoners released by Israel during the U.S.-backed direct negotiations. Families of the released prisoners still gathered to welcome loved ones home, but perhaps reflecting the malaise towards the ongoing negotiations the crowd was noticeably smaller than past releases.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation, On the ground reports, One state/Two states, US Policy in the Middle East | 55 Comments

JNF launches $1 billion program to settle ‘Western’ Jewish immigrants ‘fueled by Zionism’ in the Negev and Galilee

Over the next 10 years the Jewish National Fund aims to inject $1 billion into programs to increase North American immigration to Jewish-only communities in the Negev and Galilee, and bolster Zionist education, including a program for “a young person to bond with a child who perished in the Holocaust as part of his or her B’nai/Bat Mitzvah ceremony.”

Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government | 41 Comments

Mockupation Israel: IDF trains in Ashkelon playground because it ‘looks like Gaza’

In late November the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) ran a Gaza ground invasion training exercise by occupying an Ashkelon playground—explosions by the swing set and all. The mock raid was a surprise to suburban residents who awoke to find their town invaded. Haaretz journalist and artist Roy Chicky Arad was tipped off in advance the military would practice a ground incursion for the besieged coastal Mediterranean strip near a manicured recreational play area.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Occupation | 10 Comments

After attending Mandela’s memorial, Knesset member’s blood rejected in gov’t drive because she is African

One day after attending Nelson Mandela’s memorial, Israel’s first Ethiopian Knesset member Pnina Tamano-Shata has her blood refused in a government donation drive because she is African.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government | 45 Comments

Obama and Kerry drop talk of Palestinian state for ‘state institutions’ and ‘transition’

“Palestinians have to also recognize that there is going to be a transition period where the Israeli people cannot expect a replica of Gaza in the West Bank,” President Obama said at the Saban Forum in Washington this weekend (with Haim Saban, above). While Secretary of State John Kerry indicated that he envisions Palestinian “state institutions,” but not statehood. So once again, Israeli security concerns trump Palestinian sovereignty

Posted in American Jewish Community, Iran, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Media, Middle East, One state/Two states, Reports/Video, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 88 Comments

At New America Foundation, Max Blumenthal warns Israeli policy is to ‘finish 48′

Despite attempts to shut down Max Blumenthal’s book tour stop at the liberal think tank the New America Foundation, his lecture on Israeli policies to “finish 48″ was well received.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Media, US Politics | 76 Comments

Ari Shavit is hardwired into the Israeli elite—but knows nothing about Palestinians

Ari Shavit wants to end the occupation, and is an archetype for what is referred to as “the Left” in Israel, a dwindling breed of earnest defectors from the occupation machine. The Ha’aretz senior columnist and author of “The Promised Land” is a well-positioned and influential political commentator, but he has an abysmal record of reading Palestinian politics. As much as he may reflect the assumptions, and anxieties, of the liberal establishment, it’s clear from his writing that he doesn’t know Palestinians.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Occupation | Tagged | 20 Comments

Sleepless with Dan Snyder

Allison Deger can’t get to sleep, thinking about her father’s turkey-hunt, the Susquehannock who lived in Maryland before it was Maryland, and Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder and the American tradition of the minstrel show.

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 7 Comments

The Siege of the Tel Aviv bus station

Israel approves a grab bag of laws to deport African asylum seekers, and the Tel Aviv’s central bus station is the focus of the new policies. And what is deadly serious for African refugees is sport to Israelis at a bar. “This is not a police state!” they chant, when their sound system was briefly confiscated.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government | 21 Comments

Israel approves 829 new settlement units near Jerusalem

Israel approves construction for 829 new settlement units near Jerusalem.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation, Settlers/Colonists, US Policy in the Middle East | 15 Comments

Israeli soldier discusses killing Palestinian children on Ukrainian game show

A few days ago Abir Kopty found a November episode of a Ukrainian game show where an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldier nonchalantly discussed killing Palestinian children.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Media, Occupation | 75 Comments

Israel to build security fence in the heart of the West Bank

It’s barely 100 meters, but a fence Israel plans to build through four villages in the heart of the iconic hills of the West Bank shows how deep the occupation reaches into Palestinian life. Earlier this month, the Israeli military ordered the construction of a separation fence in the north central West Bank on agricultural land belonging to four Palestinian villages. This fence is not an extension of the famous separation barrier. Rather it will be a free-floating chain linked plank in the heart of the West Bank. A miniature version of the wall, it separates nothing and can easily be bypassed on foot. Still this fence is part of a patchwork of barriers in the Nablus district that trace the highway system. Allison Deger reports an exclusive.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation, On the ground reports, One state/Two states | Tagged | 34 Comments

‘Pro-Life? Pro-Israel?’: Israeli anti-abortion organization reaches out for US support to fight demographic war in the Jewish state


An Israeli anti-abortion group is reaching out to Christian Zionists and pro-choice advocates in the United States in an effort to increase the state’s Jewish population. The organization, Efrat, is an Israeli anti-abortion group with hundreds of volunteers that counsel Jewish women against abortion and provide support for the first year of the child’s life. While in the U.S. pro-life discourse focuses on morality, Efrat looks at abortion from a demographics perspective — promoting what they call an “inner aliyah,” or increasing Israel’s Jewish population by pumping up the birthrate via anti-abortion counseling and subsidies. Despite the apparent political contradiction, the organization has received support from abortion rights stalwarts such as New York Senator Chuck Schumer, and wide support from the American Jewish community.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Neocons, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged | 98 Comments

George Mitchell praises SodaStream settlement factory as beacon of cooperation

Former Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell praises a settlement factory as an example of “cooperation” between Israel and the Palestinians.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Middle East, Occupation, Settlers/Colonists, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 11 Comments

Help journalist David Sheen write the first book on anti-African racism in Israel

If you know about the rising Israeli racism against African refugee neighborhoods in Tel Aviv it’s likely because of Israeli-Canadian journalist David Sheen. Now Sheen is writing a book, compiling his research into the first large-scale reportage on anti-African racism. He’s asking for support. See his crowd source pitch.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government | 9 Comments

Netanyahu expands separation wall to Jordan Valley

The Netanyahu government has now announced that it will expand the separation wall to seal in the Jordan Valley, building along the border with Jordan.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation | 145 Comments

Pat Boone sells tiny plots of Israeli land to Christian Zionists

Legendary music start Pat Boone markets plots of Israeli land to Christian Zionists in infomercials for an evangelical Texas television network. Better get in soon, though– the price lately jumped 1000 percent!

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Media, Neocons, US Politics | 93 Comments

In photos: Euphoria as Ramallah greets prisoners’ release

Allison Deger was in Ramallah earlier today as prisoners released to the West Bank by the Israeli government were greeted at the Palestinian Authority headquarters. The crowd represented a cross-section of Palestinian society, and amid the euphoria, family members held up photographs of others behind bars

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation, On the ground reports | Tagged | 28 Comments

Christian Zionists help settler-farmers take over Palestinian lands

“There’s a battle raging/with a people and a land,” croons a member of an American Christian Zionist family that is bringing hundreds of the faithful to help Israeli settlers farm illegally on the West Bank. By means of agricultural expansion, Israel maintains a direct hold over around 80 percent of the West Bank, and one-third of Palestinians farmers can no longer access their fields, according to a new report.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Neocons, Occupation, Settlers/Colonists | Tagged | 76 Comments

Avigdor Lieberman used the Jerusalem mayoral election to attempt a right-wing takeover of Likud (and almost got away with it)

Yesterday Jerusalem’s mayor Nir Barkat barely kept his seat as mayor of Jerusalem in Israel’s municipal elections. Representing the Likud party, Barkat was just able to fend off rivals from religious and nationalist parties further to the right who had joined forces to oust the incumbent. Although Barkat survived, the Jerusalem race foreshadows a steeper plunge to the right across Israeli politics as pro-settler secular and religious parties vie to takeover Likud from the inside.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government | 10 Comments

Netanyahu’s extrajudicial end-run, to imprison African asylum-seekers

Israel’s high court ruled that the government cannot detain asylum seekers, many of whom walked to the Jewish state from Africa, for more than 90 days. Netanyahu works with Israel’s Ministry of Interior to develop a program to imprison Africans for a year and a half in the Sinai.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government | Tagged | 19 Comments

Jerusalem’s system of checkpoints inside Palestinian neighborhoods of the holy city

Allison Deger reports from the a-Zeitim crossing, one of the newer Israeli divisions created inside of Jerusalem. Although hailed as an undivided capital, Jewish-Israelis can move from neighborhood to neighborhood in Jerusalem while intractable metal gates create Palestinian ghettos throughout the city. Deger also talks to the young activists protesting the strangulation of their communities. Above, A-Zeitim checkpoint in East Jerusalem, between the neighborhoods of Abu Dis and At-Tur.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation, On the ground reports | Tagged | 33 Comments

In photos: On the brink of displacement, Jerusalem Bedouin celebrate Eid

Palestinians deliver toys to Jahalin Bedouin children living in four unrecognized villages in the Jerusalem hills under pressure to relocate to reservations near waste removal facilities.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Occupation, On the ground reports | 1 Comment

Thirty-five years after Israeli confiscation, a Palestinian village returns to its land

Decades ago the West Bank hamlet of Burqa lost part of its agricultural grounds when it was confiscated for an Israeli army post, and then later converted into the settlement of Homesh. But thirty-five years later, in a first in the West Bank, Israel’s high court has restored the land back to the original Palestinian owners. Above, Palestinians from Burqa plant an olive tree sapling on their land.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation, On the ground reports | Tagged | 24 Comments

I want a new song

From Ramallah to Jerusalem and back, on a day when Sukkot throws up roadblocks, Allison Deger explains how rain and closures made her a conspiracy theorist.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Mamilla Cemetery, Occupation, On the ground reports | Tagged | 47 Comments